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  • Senate leaders agree to next immigration moves

    By DENA BUNIS
    The Orange County Register

    WASHINGTON – Senate leaders announced this morning that they have a deal on how to proceed with the immigration overhaul bill set to return to the floor next week. Majority Leader Bill Frist and Minority Leader Harry Reid have agreed on the composition of a conference committee with the House and also on how to handle the amendment process.

    It's not clear exactly how many amendments will be brought to the floor during what is expected to be a two-week debate. But lawmakers believe they have an accord on a process that will allow the measure to be voted on by Memorial Day.

    Frist, R-Tenn., said a "considerable" number of amendments will be brought to the floor. And Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., one of the key players in this debate, told reporters that he has been assured by the leadership that if it looks like opponents of the measure are trying to "filibuster by amendment" that they jointly would table such amendments in order to move the process along.

    The deal comes on the eve of a Minuteman Project rally at the Senate and in the wake of nationwide demonstrations in favor of comprehensive reform. The rally is the culmination of a cross-country caravan to promote enforcement of immigration laws.

    Leaders of the Minutemen, a volunteer border patrol group, believe enforcement is the answer to illegal immigration. But the measure that will be on the Senate floor will include a new guest worker program and a path to legalization for the estimated 12 million people here illegally. Democrats had asked that the entire Judiciary Committee – which worked on the bill before it went to the floor – comprise whatever conference committee is established to deal with the House on immigration. If the Senate passes a bill, it would have to be reconciled with the House-passed measure that is limited to enforcement.

    Instead, the agreement calls for seven Republicans and five Democrats from the committee to be included in the conference. Each leader will also be allowed to choose an additional seven members, which means Democrats could still have all its Judiciary Committee members in the room working with the House on the bill.

    "This is one of the rare times that we've had to move forward on a bipartisan basis. The procedural aspects of this immigration debate is over with," Reid said on the floor after Frist outlined the course of action starting Monday.

    "It is important we finish this bill before the Memorial Day recess," Frist said. "We're going to stay on the bill until we complete it."

  • #2
    By DENA BUNIS
    The Orange County Register

    WASHINGTON – Senate leaders announced this morning that they have a deal on how to proceed with the immigration overhaul bill set to return to the floor next week. Majority Leader Bill Frist and Minority Leader Harry Reid have agreed on the composition of a conference committee with the House and also on how to handle the amendment process.

    It's not clear exactly how many amendments will be brought to the floor during what is expected to be a two-week debate. But lawmakers believe they have an accord on a process that will allow the measure to be voted on by Memorial Day.

    Frist, R-Tenn., said a "considerable" number of amendments will be brought to the floor. And Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., one of the key players in this debate, told reporters that he has been assured by the leadership that if it looks like opponents of the measure are trying to "filibuster by amendment" that they jointly would table such amendments in order to move the process along.

    The deal comes on the eve of a Minuteman Project rally at the Senate and in the wake of nationwide demonstrations in favor of comprehensive reform. The rally is the culmination of a cross-country caravan to promote enforcement of immigration laws.

    Leaders of the Minutemen, a volunteer border patrol group, believe enforcement is the answer to illegal immigration. But the measure that will be on the Senate floor will include a new guest worker program and a path to legalization for the estimated 12 million people here illegally. Democrats had asked that the entire Judiciary Committee – which worked on the bill before it went to the floor – comprise whatever conference committee is established to deal with the House on immigration. If the Senate passes a bill, it would have to be reconciled with the House-passed measure that is limited to enforcement.

    Instead, the agreement calls for seven Republicans and five Democrats from the committee to be included in the conference. Each leader will also be allowed to choose an additional seven members, which means Democrats could still have all its Judiciary Committee members in the room working with the House on the bill.

    "This is one of the rare times that we've had to move forward on a bipartisan basis. The procedural aspects of this immigration debate is over with," Reid said on the floor after Frist outlined the course of action starting Monday.

    "It is important we finish this bill before the Memorial Day recess," Frist said. "We're going to stay on the bill until we complete it."

    Comment


    • #3
      We do know that this apparently is the end of the debate on the non-substantive issues:


      ``The procedural aspect of this immigration debate is over with,'' according to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV).
      The tone from members of both parties appears very positive.

      ``Today's agreement is a major step forward,'' according to Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA). ``I'm optimistic we can get the job done.''

      Comment


      • #4
        My personal assessment, and I have been saying this all along , is that Enforcement provisions of the Senate Bill will emerge from House-Senate conference talks as a final verion of the Immigration Reform Bill.

        _____________________________________________________________


        Final version, as I see it

        1. Instead of Aggravated Felony House agrees to misdemeanor charges against illegal presence.

        2. House FIRMLY rejects Guest Worker program for undocumented workers present here now and says it is unprepared to vote for any type of Guest Worker program now (but agrees to "bring up the matter later, after elections" - meaning it hopes to bury it forever).

        3. Senate gets through some increases in legal immigration CAPs.

        4. The least contentious part - Border and Interior Enforcement provisions - will be negotiated with relative ease, as there is no major disagreement on either side over the need to enforce borders.



        Regards,

        IE

        Comment


        • #5
          ...And the House agrees to a misdemeanor for illegal presence (criminal offense) and then, without more, 18 U.S.C. 2 will apply (much of the same outcome envisioned by H.R.4437) Curious though how an "aider an abettor" can be punished with higher fines and imprisonment than the principal when, at the most, both can be charged as equals (18 U.S.C. 2).
          Do not confuse a criminal penalty with one of civil nature. The principle behind St. Cyr (INS v. St. Cyr) is only that deportation is not a punishment for a crime but only a civil measure. St. Cyr, supra, clearly states "Now that prosecutors have received the benefit of plea agreements, facilitated by the aliens' belief in their continued eligibility for §212(c) relief, it would be contrary to considerations of fair notice, reasonable reliance, and settled expectations to hold that IIRIRA deprives them of any possibility of such relief."
          The previous opinion only serves to demonstrate that legislation enacted by Congress is not to be considered in a vacuum. There's judicial review as a matter of law when it comes to the correct interpretation of the statutes. Of course, the Court's leniency when it comes to possible retroactive application of a new statute results from the distinction between a civil and a criminal procedure.
          The Courts have been strict when it comes to the retroactive application of a criminal statute for continuing offenses. The Supreme Court has spoken when it comes to this very issue with an unambiguous opinion rendering such procedures unconstitutional and fundamentally unfair.
          But it wouldn't be the first of last time that Congress decides in favor of unsound legislation, in fact, it's already happening. The fact that the compromise bill renders DUI a crime of violence goes conflicts directly the Court's interpretation of the United States Code. If Congress does not amend the definition of what a crime of violence, simply adding a DUI to the list of crimes in INA is not going to change the reality, that DUI is not compatible with the definition of a crime of violence.
          The table of authority in this context is quite extensive, but just to name a few:
          - U.S. Supreme Court (Leocal v. Ashcroft) (Binding to all circuits)
          But before...
          - BIA has ruled that it will follow the circuit courts interpretation without objection (Matter of Ramos, 2002, overruling Matter of Puente)
          - Ninth Circuit (U.S. v. Trinidad-Aquino)
          - Tenth Circuit (Tapia-Garcia v. INS)
          - Second Circuit (Dalton v. INS)
          - Seventh Circuit (U.S. v. Rutherford)
          - Fifth Circuit (U.S. V. Chapa-Garza)
          The issue is more than decided and clear when it comes to interpreting the statute that now Congress tries to obscure with an inconsistent amendment.
          It is disappointing that having the opportunity and support to finally provide a sound, strong legislation regarding immigration, Congress has dropped the ball considering a less than reasonable approach with questionable wording and issues of unconstitutionality.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't think there is any confusion in understanding the fact that "misdemeanor" , although not an "aggravated felony", IS a crime and so, for the first time the Civil Immigration violators(when apprehended) would be charged as Criminals and be a subject to imprisonment of up to 6 months.

            Nor the contentious matters missed, such as handling of I-485 for people grandfathered under 245(i).
            Imagine a Philipino brother/sister of USC who was out of status prior to April, 2001 and whose brother filed I-130 on his/her behalf.
            Under LIFE ACT the Philipino citizen would be advised to stay in US and wait for Priority Date to become current.
            And, considering that for Philipino siblings it currently takes twenty some years at least, this person can expect to remain in illegal status for at least the next 18 years before his/her PD becomes current.

            What will happen in the meantime?
            Will the USC sibling be charged with "misdemeanor" for "aiding and abetting" for all this time, or time after enactment of new law?
            But he/she can claim to have acted in accordance with Life Act.

            How about beneficiary?
            Will he/she be placed in jail for 6 months at the time of adjudicating the application, or jailed and deported any time before?

            I think these and many other issues will either be clarified in Regulations or else will be settled through Courts, if not through careful amendments to pending legislation.

            But you have to look at and see the bigger picture.

            I shared my opinion on this issue on number of my posts under the thread started by Jean2005, titled "The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act "

            http://discuss.ilw.com/eve/forums/a/...1010595521/p/2

            through

            http://discuss.ilw.com/eve/forums/a/...1010595521/p/7


            Regards,

            IE

            Comment


            • #7
              What Congress needs to come to peace with is the fact that the Supreme Court has already ruled on the issue. Criminalizing "past" conduct is not permissible under the "fair warning" principle. The same applies to "continuing offenses", the sudden criminalization of otherwise non-criminal conduct without a "fair warning period" is not in tune with Constitutional law.
              This is usually accomplished through the so-called effective dates that provide a period of "fair warning" rendering the newly enacted statutes applicable without violation of the principle of fairness instead of mechanisms for entrapment.
              This process is not required when a statute changes from a misdemeanor to a felony or when higher fines are imposed on criminal conduct already codified.
              "Alteration of a common law doctrine of criminal law violates the principle of fair warning, and hence must not be given retroactive effect."(Rogers v. Tennessee). "This violated one of the oldest maxims, nulla poena sine lege, in the history of human thought."
              Since H.R. 4437 does NOT establish such period of fair warning through an effective date or otherwise, swift action by the courts would follow to correct and properly guide the application of the law but sadly, many would fall victim to irrational conduct and prosecution.
              Moreover, immigration forms and Courts require absolute truth under penalties of misrepresentation. But rendering "unlawful presence" a crime of ANY KIND would trigger d protection against self-incrimination (Miranda v. Arizona). Here, the Courts couldn't ask ANY illegal relevant questions, even under oath, regarding an adjustment of status because the underlying matters are now criminal issues protected by the 5th amendment. Testimony could be suppressed, dismissed or thrown out, the whole integrity of the process would be at risk because of the merging of criminal and civil provisions under one poorly made statute.

              Comment


              • #8
                Houston,

                I don't want to sound presumptive but it is my gut feeling that whenever you post about HR4437 your REAL goal is to make it look so wonderful for immigrants that they would wrap up themselves in "PUSH HR4437" plackards and start marching on the streets next morning.

                If it be the case - then you are way underestimating immigrants, because only a complete moron would not see HR4437 for what it is.

                As far as what Congress needs to do, you have to remember that Congress is a LARGE body, comprised of hundreds of people in two houses and each single one of them is representative of certain District or State.
                Imagine how varied and different yet intertwined their concerns are - just as their Constituents are.
                And next, keep in mind the feelings and Passions that drive those various Constituencies and which one is driven with the greatest Energy not nesessarily Quantity - so you will have a picture of forces that influence, shape and control actions of such a large legislative body called Congress.

                The interplay of all those forces and final outcome of it is part of what is called Politics.

                You must understand it before suggesting what "Congress needs to do".



                Regards,

                IE

                Comment


                • #9
                  Like you very well stated, only a moron would not see H.R.4437 for what it really is.
                  Since I refuse the concept that Congress lacks the ability to also see H.R.4437 for what it really is and believe its members are aware of the bill's deficiencies and legal flaws, I cannot come to peace with the idea that the prime legislative body in the U.S. is actually considering a deficient statute to be enacted as Public Law.
                  I do not underestimate immigrants or Congress, but I do believe that some people are not fully aware of the nature and complete implications of potentially dangerous statutes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Like you very well stated, only a moron would not see H.R.4437 for what it really is.
                    I am glad that you agree

                    Since I refuse the concept that Congress lacks the ability to also see H.R.4437 for what it really is and believe its members are aware of the bill's deficiencies and legal flaws, I cannot come to peace with the idea that the prime legislative body in the U.S. is actually considering a deficient statute to be enacted as Public Law.
                    Your sentence contradicts itself.
                    Re-read it and you will see what I mean.

                    In FACT, Congress and ESPECIALLY THE US SENATE is comprised of some of the Brightest individuals you can find in the US.

                    But each one of them have their own personal, often sharply differring, views. And it's no secret that there are also 90 House Immigration Caucus members who are very strong and effective in pushing their agenda when it comes to Immigration Issues, and they are the ones who back HR4437 most of all.

                    How 90 members are able to have such influence on entire body is no great surprise if you are familiar with how bodies interact in Physics ,particularly look at Termodinamics.
                    Higher Energy matters more than Quantity.

                    To understand Politics you have to see it as a whole System that represents combination of Quantum-Mechanics and Newtonian Physics , all at once - whereby the small tiny particles (in Quantum Physics), called Electrons (like Individuals) to certain extent seem to be on their own and able to chose their own direction/location, yet, when you look at Macro-Physics (or Newtonian Physics) you see large bodies that, unlike those very tiny particles, appear to be subject to deterministic Laws of Physics.

                    Thus, when I look at entire picture in it's TOTALITY the confusion disappears:
                    Large bodies as WHOLE , although comprised of tiniest particles, Manifest themselves in ways that significantly differ from how their smallest (constituent) particles do.

                    As Times change - so does the Manifestation.

                    This is TAO.
                    TAO of Politics.

                    If you don't understand this - you will never understand anything at deeper levels, you will always be misled by appearances.


                    IE


                    P.S. Finally, let me note that I do not believe HR4437 has a chance to pass as introduced.
                    As mentioned on earlier post in this thread , I foresee a Senate version of Enforcement Bill passed into Law (with some of the draconian provisions of HR4437 dropped off the final Conference Report), and I also foresee the possibility for CAP increses and in return for both House will demand that "Guest Worker" program for illegals be eliminated from whatever comes to final vote.

                    There is very remote possibility that House may actually accept the kind of "Guest Worker" program , but one that will differ from Sen. Cornyn-Kyl version(not to mention Sen. Mc-Cain/Kennedy/Specter SJC version) in a way that it won't allow illegals to get a temporary registration before leaving US to apply for Guest Worker status, instead it will require that every single applicant be processed abroad ,and abroad only, before getting any kind of registration or whatever temporary status in US.
                    But that is a big question whether House Conference delegates would accept even that.


                    Bottom line is, as I said before:


                    My personal assessment, and I have been saying this all along , is that Enforcement provisions of the Senate Bill will emerge from House-Senate conference talks as a final verion of the Immigration Reform Bill.

                    _____________________________________________________________


                    Final version, as I see it :


                    1. Instead of Aggravated Felony House agrees to misdemeanor charges against illegal presence.

                    2. House FIRMLY rejects Guest Worker program for undocumented workers present here now and says it is unprepared to vote for any type of Guest Worker program now (but agrees to "bring up the matter later, after elections" - meaning it hopes to bury it forever).

                    3. Senate gets through some increases in legal immigration CAPs.

                    4. The least contentious part - Border and Interior Enforcement provisions - will be negotiated with relative ease, as there is no major disagreement on either side over the need to enforce borders.



                    Regards,

                    IE

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Posted May 12, 2006 08:08 AM
                      My personal assessment, and I have been saying this all along , is that Enforcement provisions of the Senate Bill will emerge from House-Senate conference talks as a final verion of the Immigration Reform Bill.

                      _____________________________________________________________


                      Final version, as I see it Big Grin

                      1. Instead of Aggravated Felony House agrees to misdemeanor charges against illegal presence.

                      2. House FIRMLY rejects Guest Worker program for undocumented workers present here now and says it is unprepared to vote for any type of Guest Worker program now (but agrees to "bring up the matter later, after elections" - meaning it hopes to bury it forever).

                      3. Senate gets through some increases in legal immigration CAPs.

                      4. The least contentious part - Border and Interior Enforcement provisions - will be negotiated with relative ease, as there is no major disagreement on either side over the need to enforce borders.
                      If it goes down as you said, then it is moot. Pres Bush will veto the bill b/c of the guest worker program will not be in the bill. He has put too much political capital in that request. Second, any guest worker program the house could accept is one that does not have any immidiate adjudication process to permenant resident and citizenship.

                      And one final question, where is Sen Cornyn and Kyl.
                      "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In FACT, Congress and ESPECIALLY THE US SENATE is comprised of some of the Brightest individuals you can find in the US
                        Uhm, no. They may be some who are the brightest intellectually, but not politically. This is an election year for 1/3 of the Senate and the entire lower House. HR4437 is only an election year bill, nothing more, nothing less. As for the other part of the post, never mix oil and water. They do not mix well.
                        "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If it goes down as you said, then it is moot. Pres Bush will veto the bill b/c of the guest worker program will not be in the bill. He has put too much political capital in that request.

                          You wait and see how it goes - then you tell me if I was wrong or right in my predictions.

                          Veto won't stop the Bill from becoming a law if voted for twice.

                          Besides, Bush's ratings right now are too low to allow him strong stand on this.


                          Second, any guest worker program the house could accept is one that does not have any immidiate adjudication process to permenant resident and citizenship.
                          No, that's not what we hear from House.

                          http://judiciary.house.gov/media/pdf...elease5506.pdf

                          Tell me when you heard last time that House agreed to accept a guest worker program as long as it doesn't immediately lead to LPR and Citizenship?

                          Mind to provide a link

                          And one final question, where is Sen Cornyn and Kyl.
                          Irrelevant question

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Uhm, no. They may be some who are the brightest intellectually, but not politically. This is an election year for 1/3 of the Senate and the entire lower House. HR4437 is only an election year bill, nothing more, nothing less.
                            Just what do you think you know about Congress and Congressmen?
                            Those million times repeated cliches about "blundered politicians" are nothing more but product of imagination and projection of intellect infinitely inferior to those of Senators/Congressmen.

                            Outcome in Politics is an interplay of Forces, almost a Natural phenomena that takes place and has little to do with individual capacity and intelligence of men participating in it.

                            As for the other part of the post, never mix oil and water. They do not mix well.
                            Would you be more speciphic and explain what you mean by "Water" and "Oil"?
                            Aren't you the one who mixes up something?


                            Regards,

                            IE

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It is true that immigration law is quite complicated and an amendment bill is usually difficult to read without a complete understanding of the original statute. I found a post here mentioning how the CIR bill would "take with one hand what it gives with the other"... in particular making a direct reference to the famous "chapter 75" ground of inadmissibility.
                              This ground would make inadmissible an alien who is an EWI, enters by misrepresentation and commits other related offenses. In the context of "earned adjustment" it would sound strange to prevent the adjustment of people Congress intents to be cover by the statute, but this is not the case, at all. Here's the questioned section of the bill:

                              (a) Inadmissibility- Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)) is amended-
                              (1) in subclause (I), by striking `, or' at the end and inserting a semicolon;
                              (2) in subclause (II), by striking the comma at the end and inserting `; or'; and
                              (3) by inserting after subclause (II) the following:
                              (III) a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any provision of chapter 75 of title 18, United States Code,'.

                              (b) Removal- Section 237(a)(3)(B)(iii) (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(3)(B)(iii)) is amended to read as follows:
                              (iii) of a violation of any provision of chapter 75 of title 18, United States Code,'.

                              (c) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) shall apply to proceedings pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, with respect to conduct occurring on or after that date.

                              Note how the amendment CLEARLY and WITHOUT ANY DOUBT is intended to cover violations that occur ON THE DAY OF ENACTMENT OR AFTER SUCH DAY... This is not a provision that applies retroactively, so there's no "impact" on people applying for earned legalization. Again, the "effective date clause" states:
                              (c) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) shall apply to proceedings pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, with respect to CONDUCT OCCURRING ON OR AFTER THAT DATE. (emphasis added).

                              Comment

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